How your thoughts can hypnotise you

Svengali_copy When I used to practice hypnosis I was continually amazed by the explanations people came up with for the things they did under suggestion.

You can put anyone who wants to do it in trance. With a fair number of people you can also give them a post-hypnotic suggestion. For example, you can say ‘When you wake up you will have to open the back window’.

Things would get really interesting later on when you asked the person to explain why he had just opened that particular window. There would be a longish pause and then would come an explanation like: ‘The room was too cold/warm/stuffy’.’ I learnt also that further questions would nearly always end in the other party getting irritated.

In case this sounds strange, it’s not unlike someone with sour grapes telling you he didn’t want the job anyway, even though the week before he had been excited about going for the interview. Or the friend who explains that she had got drunk because she had gone to the party on an empty stomach. We make up reasons for what we do after the event because we want to sound like we know what we are doing and were in control all along. And, such are the power of words, we usually end up believing our own stories.

Explanations are made up by Headmind when it doesn’t understand what is going on. And that is especially true where feelings and emotions are concerned. Unruly emotions come up and we don’t understand why we feel that way. If we don’t take the trouble to connect to the emotion and find out we can, instead, end up explaining them away. Or giving them a sinister meaning they never had.

Now here’s how thoughts can make you ill:

1 You notice you are anxious. Your head says: ‘I am cracking up. I can’t cope’

2 You notice you are sad. Your head says: ‘I am so depressed I can’t go on like this.’

3 You notice you are fatigued. Your head says: ‘My M.E. is back. I have to go to bed.’

4 You notice you are restless. Your head says: ‘I must have a drink. I can’t hold out any longer.’

Like someone under hypnosis, we leap from particular sensations to global conclusions. We self-talk ourselves into trance through the suggestions we give ourselves. And the result is an action performed under post-hypnotic suggestion – panicking, running away, or alcohol abuse.

If this happens to you, you could try these alternatives for a different result:

1. My body is using up a lot of adrenalin. Time to chill out.

2. I am sad. Time to be gentle with myself.

3. My body is trying to get my attention to something. Time to do something about my real needs.

4. I am restless. Time to practice awareness and stay grounded in the moment.

‘Few people would fall in love had they not heard about it from others’

La Rochefoucauld


6 thoughts on “How your thoughts can hypnotise you

  1. Rachael Woollcott October 17, 2007 / 8:29 pm

    As always, you speak s much sense.. i practise RT everyday of my life to remain healthy… very hard work but im liking you comment about “when my body is trying to get my attnetion… look at my real needs..”


  2. John Eaton October 17, 2007 / 9:27 pm

    Thanks Rachael. Glad you found that post useful. Let me know if there is anything else you would like this blog to focus on. John.


  3. Nobby October 19, 2007 / 12:22 am

    John I am sure remember reading you don’t believe in the unconcious mind. But if you did hypnotism then I am confused.
    What’s your view on positive affirmation CDs? I played one for weeks and it seemed to make my symptoms better. I can only believe it was going in unconsciously as I was never really listening to it.


  4. John Eaton October 19, 2007 / 1:56 pm

    Good question Nobby! I would like to deal with this in the next post or two. Thanks JOHN


  5. Jacq October 21, 2007 / 1:11 am

    Thanks John
    Beautifully put and the quote divine. Met a millionaire tonight Linday! John, what a great site Thanks and love
    God Bless


  6. John Eaton October 22, 2007 / 10:49 am

    Thanks Jacq!
    Three comments on this post. Tells me that this is a subject that interests people so the next blog will also be on trance states and the power of words. John


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